Bike the Katy Trail –August 31 to September 6, 2014
Private tours of groups of at least 16 people can be arranged. Contact BikerBubba@AOL.Com to discuss dates and details
When Lewis and Clark first visited the area that is now Katy Trail State Park, they slept on the ground and worried about bugs, bad weather, where their next meal would come from and, occasionally, wild animals and unfriendly natives.
Luckily for bicycle tourists in search of a grand adventure, the touring and exploring business has vastly improved since 1802, and host/ride director Bubba is offering an entertaining, exciting and luxurious week-long bike tour of Katy Trail State Park. The event, Bubba’s Katy Trail Bike Tour, will start in Historic St. Charles, MO., on August 31 and conclude on September 6, 2014 – 225 fun-packed miles later – in Clinton, Mo., the end of the trail.
Katy Trail State Park is the longest and narrowest State Park in the country as well as being the longest Rails to Trails and is packed with scenic views and historical markers recounting everything from Lewis and Clark’s exploration to the Flood of ’93. Remnants of the old Missouri, Kansas and Texas (MKT) railroad still loom along the trail, sharing space with blooming wildflowers and abundant wildlife. The trail is about the journey as much as the destination, with each small town along the way an adventure waiting to be discovered. So take your time and enjoy the leisurely pace of high-end bike touring.
After an overnight Stay at the Ameristar Casino’s high-end hotel August 31, the trip starts in St. Charles on Monday, Sept. 1. Following breakfast at the Bike Stop Café just across the trail from Frontier Park, riders will head 35 miles west to Dutzow. During the day, riders will pass Defiance, where Daniel Boone lived the last years of his full life and was known for rendering fair decisions on local disputes while sitting under the spreading branches of the massive Judgment Tree. In Dutzow, riders will stop at the trailhead and sip cold drinks or enjoy a meal at the Dutzow Deli while waiting to be shuttled to nearby Washington, the tour’s stop for the night at a local hotel which offers comfortable rooms and an indoor pool and spa. The evening meal will be catered. The first settlers arrived in Washington in the early 1800s, and the town was established in 1839. Commerce benefited from proximity to the Missouri River and, later, the MKT Railroad. Washington, once known as the “Corncob Pipe Capital of the World,” is now a town of wineries, antique shops, historic homes and welcoming residents.
It’s just an easy 27-mile pedal to McKittrick, then another two miles into Hermann, where the tour will overnight Tuesday, Sept. 2. Hermann, voted the “best small city for a weekend getaway” by AAA members, features numerous historic B&Bs and hotels (more than 150 buildings are on the National Register of Historic Places) plus an eclectic array of antique stores and specialty shops. The tour will lodge in historic B&B’s built in 1895. After a refreshing shower, you will be shuttled to the Stone Hill Winery for a private tour and history talk followed by a delicious meal in the winery’s restaurant.
Wednesday Sept. 3 the tour will spin about 43 miles from Hermann to Jefferson City, Missouri’s state capital. Overnight lodging is at the Capitol Plaza Hotel, and the evening repast will be catered. Jeff City, founded in 1839, offers wineries, parks, museums and historic sites. The Missouri State Penitentiary, which offers tours, has housed such notorious criminals as bank robber Charles “Pretty Boy Floyd” and former heavyweight champion Sonny Liston.
Day 4, Sept. 4, the group pedals 48 miles down the trail to Boonville, another quaint river town packed with stylish old homes, unique shops and the historic Hotel Frederick, the group’s home for the night. The hotel was built in 1905 and has an appropriate sense of history, highlighted by a cozy lobby with big chairs and a wood-burning stove and a bar where deals were almost certainly concluded over a drink or two. The current owner has refurbished the rooms, and they are a blend of old and new that hearkens back to their former splendor. The meal will be in The Fred Café, a top-notch restaurant just off the hotel lobby.
From Boonville, Day 5 meanders 37 miles through woods and past ponds and small towns toward Sedalia. The group will spend the night at the Hotel Bothwell, opened in 1927 and rumored to have a ghost or two keeping an eye on the elegant rooms. The lobby is another stylish testament to a bygone era and looks essentially the same as it did when Sedalia high schoolers celebrated their prom there in the ‘40s. Sedalia was incorporated in 1860 and boomed along with the railroad. Earlier, Osage and Shawnee tribes also called the area home. Dinner will be in the elegant Ivory Grille located just off the hotel’s lobby.
The final stretch rolls 36 miles to Clinton, the conclusion of the ride. Highlights include the Bicentennial caboose, painted with an American flag, in Windsor, and Clinton’s sprawling downtown square, billed as the largest in Missouri and the fourth largest in the country. Showers, lunch and a deluxe motor coach for your return to St. Charles, in that order, await riders after they celebrate reaching trail’s end.
Trip details are subject to change.
- If driving, the host hotel is located at Number 1 Ameristar Blvd, St. Charles, MO which is basically I-70 and the Missouri River
- If flying into St Louis Lambert International Airport, the host hotel offers complimentary shuttle service.
- Will be arriving back into St Charles late afternoon Saturday September 6. Do not book out going flights before 8 PM on that day to assure enough travel time.
- Free Airport Shuttles availabe through the Ameristar Hotel
- Showers will be available (however no toiletries) in Clinton, the end of the tour.
- Mountain bikes or hybrid bikes are strongly recommended for this tour. If using a road bike, you will be best served by installing the biggest tires possible.
- The Katy Trail is a very well maintained crushed limestone trail void of vehicle traffic. Even though not required, bike fenders will keep you and your bike cleaner.
- The Katy Trail is almost completely free from potential hazards. That said, a bike helmet is required to be worn at all times while on this tour.
- Participants must have the knowledge, willingness and proper tools to change a flat bicycle tire.
- Arrive early and enjoy the quaintness of Historic St Charles. St. Charles, MO | Hotels, Things to Do, Restaurants and Vacation Info
- Dinner Sunday August 31 will be on your own giving you the opportunity to select from the numerous restaurants in the hotel or explore Historic St Charles and select from more personal eateries
- Bike Rental available from Bike Stop Café, 701 S. Riverside, St. Charles, MO. 636-390-8877
- Bike Shipping available from Bike Stop Café, 701 S. Riverside, St. Charles, MO. 636-390-8877
Compare Bubba to the Competition
There currently is another bike tour on the Katy Trail, the same time of year. The below information is directly from their web site showing what is included. You decide which the better value is.
- 5 Nights Lodging at Bed & Breakfasts, Inns and Hotels
- 1 Delicious Dinner
- 5 tasty breakfasts
- Daily snacks SAG Support
- 6 Nights Lodging at Bed & Breakfasts, Inns and Historic Hotels
- 5 Delicious Dinners
- 6 Breakfasts
- Of course Bubba’s KatyTrail tour will SAG Support with snacks and drinks
- Free Long-Term Parking in St Charles
- Free Airport Shuttles
- Daily Informational Sheets
- Bike Rental Available (additional fee associated)
- Deluxe Motor Coach from Clinton back to St Charles
Double, two riders sharing the same room: $1,650 per rider
Single, one person in their own room: $2,000 per rider
Bubba’s KatyTrail Tour Fee:
Double, two riders sharing the same room: $1,600 per rider
Single, one person in their own room: $1,900 per rider
Bubba, being an owner-operator, translates to a much better value for you. More for less, it’s the Bubba way!
Text and photos by Doug Kaufman